You may be surprised to know that even small actions can get us noticed at work. You may already be a diligent, dedicated employee who makes efficient use of your time, but perhaps you haven’t reached the ranks of the high-achieving innovators and pacesetters. Alternatively, maybe you work for a large corporation where it’s easy to get somewhat “lost in the mix”. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to ensure that your own professional presence doesn’t completely fade to the background.
Productivity and self-improvement writer/blogger, Kayla Matthews has shared a few quick and easy options for employees who are looking to make an impact while they are still on the way up.
1. Offer to work on new projects more frequently.
“Lending a helping hand – before someone has to ask you – makes you look proactive and team-oriented”, says Matthews. Don’t just wait for responsibilities to come your way; make the effort to offer your assistance from the beginning. You will not only increase your expertise and comfort zone, but you will show your team and superiors that you are reliable and accommodating.
2. Present examples when making a point.
When presenting an idea or suggestion to a superior, citing certain talking points from a previous conversation to support your position can really help turn circumstances in your favor. What’s more, you are showing that you take their opinions seriously. Williams reminds readers, “Providing specific examples shows that you’re actively engaged [in conversation] and can help you make your points”.
3. Don’t stay silent at meetings.
If you feel you have something valuable to add to the conversation, don’t refrain from participating in company meetings. According to Williams, “You may not always have specific examples or data that jumps to mind [and] that’s okay”. She continues, “The willingness to put yourself out – and say something – carries enormous weight”. Additionally, even if you choose to support another point made by a colleague, you are still making your presence at the meeting known, and therefore more meaningful.
4. Be open to constructive feedback.
While our first reaction may be to become defensive at the notion of criticism, it’s important to be able to recognize the constructive kind with a healthy attitude. Rather than balking, listen first and ascertain whether there may be some truth to the other person’s ideas. If you are truly honest with yourself, you will be able to extract the points that may help you improve. Williams suggests that employees remind themselves how feedback will ultimately help them recognize areas for professional growth, so they will listen first without becoming overly self-protective.
5. Send quality emails.
Our writing represents a strong portion of our presence at work. Of course, proofreading emails for typos and obvious mistakes is a must; however, it’s important to go a step further and “[put] yourself in the other person’s shoes to quickly decide if more details need to be added, or if you’re good to go”, says Williams. Be sure to spend just a few extra minutes ensuring that the message in your email is clear in its purpose, appropriate, and complete.
While seemingly small, these factors can have a cumulative and lasting impact on an employer. Sometimes “making a good impression” is simpler than we think, and can provide us with the confidence and good graces to become a truly influential player in our field.
At SC&C we offer Career Analysis to help senior decision-makers from all walks of life identify strategies and tactics to increase their value-add employment potential.